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Optical Virtual Biopsy Available for Urological Applications

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 05 Dec 2013
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Image: The Cellvizio probe-based confocal laser endomicroscopy (pCLE) system (Photo courtesy of Mauna Kea Technologies).
Image: The Cellvizio probe-based confocal laser endomicroscopy (pCLE) system (Photo courtesy of Mauna Kea Technologies).
An optical biopsy system that allows medical staff to noninvasively assess tissues microscopically in a range of applications now includes urology.

The Cellvizio probe-based confocal laser endomicroscopy (pCLE) system generates optical biopsies, providing physicians with microscopic images of tissue instantaneously and in a minimally invasive manner. This assists them in determining whether the tissue is benign or malignant, and in making appropriate patient management decisions. Embedded real-time image processing software combined with a high-speed Laser Scanning Unit (LSU) allows the system to produce 12 frames per second (fps), so that the images stay sharp.

The system is designed in such a way that only the light-carrying components have to be inserted into the endoscope, leaving the scanning and processing outside. These optical components are assembled to form flexible confocal miniprobes, miniaturized to the point that they can be inserted into the working channel of standard endoscopes. The images thus come from a very thin focal plane that is optically projected into the tissues, an “optical slicing” capability similar in principal to the physical slicing of endoscopically extracted tissues samples in standard histology.

Probes are available for a wide range of conditions, including Barrett's Esophagus, Biliopancreatic strictures, pancreatic cysts, colorectal lesions, inflammatory bowel diseases, pulmonology and peripheral lung lesions. The new probes introduced will now provide access to flexible cystoscopy (CystoFlex), rigid cystoscopy (CystoFlex UHD), and ureteroscopy (UroFlex) procedures. The Cellvizio system is a product of Mauna Kea Technologies (Paris, France).

“Given the proven medical need and a substantial demand from the medical community for an improvement in urology procedures, we are confident in the clinical value that these new probes will provide in the treatment of bladder cancer,” said Sacha Loiseau, Founder and CEO of Mauna Kea Technologies. “The market opportunity in urology is considerable and the Cellvizio Optical Biopsy platform, which now includes the EVA operating system and a range of miniprobes specifically designed for urology applications, is ideally positioned to address it.”

“Bladder cancer has a recurrence rate of about 70%, which requires patients to be monitored throughout the rest of their lives and undergo frequent further treatments, making it the most expensive cancer to manage,” said Patrick Coloby, MD, President of the Association Française d'Urologie. “Optical biopsy would enable us to better guide and control our interventions during these procedures.”

The conventional procedure to treat urological tumors currently involves an initial endoscopic examination to detect bladder lesions (flexible cystoscopy procedure) and then resection them (rigid cystoscopy procedure), before sending analyses to a laboratory, to gauge their aggressiveness and to distinguish superficial forms and infiltrating tumors requiring surgical resection.

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